In summer, I can practically live on tabouleh, that Middle Eastern bulgar salad tossed with copious amounts of parsley, mint, oregano, onion, lemon juice and tomatoes.
But even when playing favorites, you sometimes need to mix it up a little for a change of pace.
Such was the case when I spotted this recipe for “Tabouleh with Quinoa, Corn, Scallion and Goat Cheese” in the cookbook, “Home Made” (Stewart, Tabori & Chang), of which I received a review copy.
The book is by Amsterdam recipe writer and catering company owner, Yvette van Boven. It’s filled with DIY-type recipes to teach you everything from how to create a smoker in your oven to how to make the perfect broth.
This salad makes a perfect summer side dish. Or it can be a complete meal, as grain-like quinoa is high in protein and contains all the essential amino acids a body needs.
Cook the quinoa in a large pot of boiling water. The key is to drain it well, especially since the quinoa granules are so tiny. Let it drain in a fine-mesh sieve or a colander lined with cheesecloth if it has larger holes. Use a large wooden spoon to press on it to extract as much water as possible.
Then, toss the quinoa with corn, scallions, parsley, slivers of romaine lettuce, cashews, and aged goat cheese, along with a dressing made with sharp mustard and smoky paprika.
It’s not a salad with full-on crunch in every bite. Rather, there’s more softness to it. If you like a little more crunch, substitute toasted almonds for the cashews and wait until just before serving to add the romaine.
It’s not your standard tabouleh. But why always go with the flow, right?
Tabouleh with Quinoa, Corn, Scallion and Goat Cheese
(Serves 8 as a side dish salad)
1 1/4 cups quinoa
4 fresh ears of corn
2 small heads baby romaine lettuce
6 scallions, cut into rounds, white and green parts
1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 1/4 cups aged goat cheese, cut into small dice
1/3 cup cashews or toasted almonds
2 1/2 tablespoons prepared mustard
1 clove garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
Salt and pepper
2/3 cup grape seed oil or sunflower oil
In a medium saucepan, add quinoa. Add enough water to cover by about 2 inches. Add a generous pinch of salt. Cook quinoa for about 20 minutes. Drain in a sieve, then rinse thoroughly with cold running water. Let drain, extracting as much liquid out as possible.
Meantime, cook the shucked ears of corn in a pot of boiling water for about 15 minutes. Or cook in a microwave for about 3 or 4 minutes. Rinse corn under cool water and cut kernels from the cobs.
In a large bowl, add corn kernels, quinoa, romaine, scallions, parsley, goat cheese and cashews or almonds.
In a blender, make the dressing, blending prepared mustard, garlic, smoked paprika, vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste. With the machine running, slowly pour the oil into the blender until the dressing is emulsified.
Toss salad with dressing and serve.
Adapted from “Home Made” by Yvette van Boven
More Summer Eats: Gordon’s Red Potato Salad with Whole-Grain Mustard Dressing